Are More Workouts Always Better?

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Are more workouts always better? Check out what a PhD in Sport Physiology says.=

Dr. Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, made a video asking: are more workouts always better?

There must be a limit to how much muscle you can build while working out, correct? Yes, and in some cases, too much workout can even be detrimental to getting stronger and fitter.

Are More Workouts Always Better?

Israetel explained that it is important to take a look at the amount of training you are doing for each muscle group and the amount of training you are doing per week.

Per Muscle Group

2 vs 1

When it comes to muscle group, any muscle in your body, training 2 times a particular muscle compared to only once in a week is notably better. “In most cases training a muscle twice a week is better than training a muscle once a week.”

One example he gives is doing 20 sets on your chest once in the week is not going to give you the same benefits as doing 10 sets of chest exercises twice a week (given that you have rested at least 48 hours between the days). So two sets of 10 usually beat one set of 20.

That is because your muscle only tends to grow to a certain point after being stimulated, so waiting a full week to train the same muscle again does not provide the same growth compared to training it twice a week.

3 vs 2

Training a muscle group 3 times per week compared to twice a week is one average slightly better. That depends on the type of exercise and how much effort you put out.

“As you get bigger and stronger, a lot of the times your joints and connective tissues just can’t recover from three heavy leg sessions, or something like that, per week, and maybe two is better,” Dr. Mike explains.

4 vs 3

Training the same muscle group 4 times a week compared to 3 times a week is “up in the air.”

It depends on the circumstances. On principle, stimulating your muscle four times is better than three, but if you cannot recover from it, than 3 times a week is better than training four times.

For most cases, 3 times a week is better.

are more workouts always better

Per Week

Not taking into consideration the muscle you are training, but rather how many times a week you go to the gym to sweat. Are more workouts better then?

5 better than 4 better than 3

If you go to the gym three times a week to train, you will get stronger and fitter. But hitting the gym 4 times a week is better for muscle growth and 5 times a week is even better, on average, to build more muscle.

“Six days of training per week, you show up to the gym six times, is only probably a tiny bit better than five and it only is contextualised if you can recover,” Dr. Mike Israetel says.

Only very advanced athletes, such as CrossFit athletes or professional bodybuilders, should hit the gym more than six days per week.

However, consistency beats any training plan. Even if your workout is logical and optimised for your goals, if you are skipping a few exercises or sessions, you could get more results by just showing up to the gym more frequently even without a specific workout plan.

Are More Workouts Always Better?

Dr. Mike Israetel concludes that you should train at least 2 times per week for any given muscle.

Make sure you are well rested because resting days are when muscles take their time to grow.

Make sure you are choosing high-quality exercises that optimise growth for the muscles you are hitting.

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